The first thing to say about this book is that, despite the picture and tagline on the cover, it’s not a Christmas book. As it says, ‘it all started at Christmas’ but the story takes place over two Christmas periods with a few birthdays in between. What started that first Christmas was the developing relationship between Adam and Katie. Adam is a divorced father with an 8 year old daughter, Lily. He was brought up by his grandparents after his mother’s early death and is very close to his Grandma Grace. Although he lives some distance away, he goes to see her often and it is on one of these occasions that he meets Katie. Katie is following her dream to run a bakery and is the owner of Sweet Occasions. She lives with Steve but is starting to feel that things just aren’t right between them anymore.
There is, of course, attraction between Adam and Katie from the start but initially neither of them are considering a relationship. The book follows their meetings and growing feelings over the course of a long period. What I liked about the story was that it wasn’t love at first sight and it wasn’t hate at first sight which turned into love. This was a slowly developing friendship which deepened into love even though, as it often seemed, their “timing was off yet again”. They were the right people for each other but meeting at the wrong time. Grandma Grace was a lovely character and the relationship between her and Adam and Lily was sensitively portrayed. She was very wise too saying that “everything happens for a reason”. I loved this part where she is explaining a bit more about what she means by that:
“If people took the time to think back over past events they would clearly see that even though the path meanders, each little step counts for something. Life is a learning experience. If it wasn’t for the ups and downs it would be distinctly boring. The good times are much sweeter because of the bad things every single one of us has to battle through.”
The only thing which didn’t quite work for me was that all the chapters were in first person. Each chapter was narrated by a different character and it said at the beginning which character it was. Of course, as I read on it became obvious whose chapter it was. However, I found on occasion that if I had put the book down mid-chapter, it took me a minute to realise which character was narrating that particular section. It’s just a personal thing of course, but I prefer only one character to be using ‘I’.
A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love is a very romantic story and had some of the most emotional scenes I’ve read for a long time. I was reading on the bus when one particular scene had me swallowing very hard! A very enjoyable, heart-warming story with well developed characters you will believe in and you will be hoping they can overcome the obstacles in the way to their happiness.
Thanks to the publishers ChocLit for letting me a copy via Netgalley. The book is available now in e-book format and will be published in paperback on 14th October. You can order a copy here: A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love
From the back of the book
Life isn’t all love and cupcakes …
Katie has had her fair share of bad luck, but when she finally realises her dream of opening a bakery it seems things can only get better. But the reality of running a business hits Katie hard and whilst her partner, Steve, tries to help she can’t help but feel that the situation is driving them further apart. Could Katie be set to lose her relationship and her dream job?
Then, one winter’s day, a man walks into her shop – and, in the space of that moment, the course of Katie’s life is changed. But nobody finds happiness in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it takes two Christmases, three birthdays and a whole lot of cake to get there.